#SixforSunday

S4S – Characters who deserve another/their own book

Happy Six for Sunday day! This weeks prompt, thanks to the ever lovely Steph from A little But A Lot, is “Characters who deserve another/their own book” There are a good few characters I would love to see more about but I made sure the six I picked made sense, some of the choices I had in mind either had a really satisfying end to their story or character arc to the point that I couldn’t see them in another story, no matter how much I liked them or there are sequels imminent i.e Asha from the Last Namsara, most of Squad 312 from Aurora Rising, Issac Sullivan from The Devouring Gray etc.

Remy Silvers from The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

I know The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is a stand-alone book and it works but I would just really love to have a had maybe even a novella about her time after (no spoilers). Until this happens I think I’m just going to read that damn fantastic book over and over again because I can’t get enough of it.

Lucien Vanserra  from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I know I mentioned Lucien last week (and I’m not sorry) but I couldn’t not mention him for this prompt because this is a story I desperately want. I like to think I’m quite disillusioned with Sarah J Maas all these years later but honestly, I would throw myself at her feet and buy all these damned random special editions of Throne of glass etc if it meant she gave Lucien his own book.

Ben Solo from Star Wars (as written by Claudia Gray)

Completely disregarding the fact that I’ve been known on occasion to ship Reylo, I find Ben Solo/Kylo Ren an immensely interesting character at times and I would love to see where he came from, what events brought him to the Dark Side and how he feels about all of it. He’s a very conflicted character and I’m not saying there’s no chance he’s just a spoilt over privileged kid with some issues but I like to think there’s more to it, I don’t need justification for his crappy behaviour and I’m not (entirely) seeking out a redemption arc but I do want to understand the character better and after reading Bloodline by Claudia Gray I absolutely think she would be the one to do so. I would have suggested Christie Golden too but I honestly think she’ll just make me cry the whole time.

The Illuminae Group from The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Again, I know mentioned this in last weeks post but it’s too important to ignore, especially now that I’ve read Memento. You could honestly write about any of the characters in the Illuminae Files and I would read the hell out of it.

Ari and Janco from the Chronicles of Ixia/Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder

I loved this duo more and more throughout the Study books and I would love to see them both in their own adventure!

Clove and Ella from The Last Begining by Lauren James

Although I hadn’t initially been too keen on Ella I really enjoyed the short story Another Begining which really warmed me to her and made me want to read more about them together. I know technically Another Beginning IS their story but I feel it’s also very much about unwinding Kate and Matt’s story and I’d love to see more of Clove and Ella’s adventures throughout time.

What do you think? Would you be interested in any of these? What characters would you like to see get their own books?

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spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – June

It’s the first Thursday of the month so it’s time for TBR Thursday where I reveal the books I intend to read this month (hopefully!). It’s not a huge list this month and very subject to change as I’ve applied for some ARC’s that I’m hopeful I’ll be accepted for, I’m also not quite halfway through The Dark Phoenix Saga by Stuart Moore and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett which I’m reading at the moment and I think six books in a month might be a little hopeful for me but we’ll see!

The Girl In Red by Christina Henry
As mentioned in yesterdays WWW Wednesday post this is a retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale with a twist. I’ve heard great things about it and this is my next read for sure, I’m so excited to get into it!

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
I fell in love with this book the moment I saw the arcs going out and read the synopsis, it sounds amazing and I think Tabby will almost certainly be a character I can identify with. Anxiety and book clubs? Sign me up.

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link and Robin Wasserman.
Despite my, not exactly falling out of love with Shadowhunters, but more my becoming less excited by I’m still eager to check out the short stories contained within the Ghosts of the Shadow Market collection. The past two Shadow hunter anthologies have been really enjoyable and I’m hoping maybe this will reignite some of my love for the series. This book may, however, get swapped out if I’m chosen to receive any of the ARC’s I’ve applied for.

D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer
I don’t often read a lot of books heavily featuring animals because I worry that something bad will happen to them (thanks Marley and Me and the Warrior Cats books) but something about D-Day Dog just called to me, especially the absolutely beautiful cover by Tom Clohosy Cole. 

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I NEED TO FINALLY FINISH THIS DAMNED BOOK. I started reading QOAD when it was released LAST YEAR. I found the physical book far too big and clunky to read so opted for the audiobook read by the lovely James Masters and…it’s not a bad book exactly it’s just so drawn out. It’s obviously a long book and some bits have been brilliant so far but some of it just drags so much. I have about an hour and a half left to listen to which I’m determined to get done this month no matter what!

There are so many books I’m trying to restrain myself from buying this month that I cannot explain. I’m also at an event on payday halfway through the month so need to restrain myself (hahahahahaha) as we’re also off to Legoland at the end of the month!

Are there any books on here you’ve read that you enjoyed? What are you hoping to get read this month?

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – June 3rd

Its time for my fortnightly WWW Wednesday post! I’m slowly slogging through this months TBR (full post to come tomorrow!) but feeling positive I’ll get there, especially after rearranging and tidying my bookcases yesterday! If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Dark Phoenix Saga by Stuart Moore. As mentioned in my last post, this is a retelling/novelisation of the Dark Phoenix arc from the X-Men comics. I remember falling in the love with the animated X-Men series when I was younger and other than Rogue, who I adored, I really fell in love with Jean and her story as the Phoenix. I got a little older and looked into the comics more and devoured the whole story arc multiple times. I’m so glad to now get to relive it all over again in this new Marvel novel, not to mention the film coming out very very soon.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Despite meaning to read this for a while now, as soon as I saw that they would be making a show in-fact and I’m now finally getting around to it. I read the first 50 pages so that I could watch the first episode of the show and now I’m hoping to carry on and finish it so I can watch the rest of the episodes because that first one was absolutely brilliant.

What did you recently finish reading?

Memento by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. As a pre-order incentive in the US, the US publishers of Aurora Rising offered a copy of a new and exclusive Illuminae novella when you submitted your preorder receipt. This novella is an 82-page prequel about AIDAN. I was gutted to realise this was US only but the lovely Good Choice Reading who is based in the US and does virtual signings were offering the incentives with your signed book! The postage was a little painful but it was totally worth it. I read Memento the day I received it and I made a reading reaction video which you can check out here.

Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. The sequel to their first book Zenith, I was pleased to find Nexus was a HUGE improvement over its predecessor and was really enjoyable, I’m actually pretty gutted that it’s only a two book series. You can check out my review for Nexus here. 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry.  I’ve been fascinated with the idea of Christina’s fairy tale retellings for years and The Lost Boy is on my TBR and now I’m lucky enough to be taking part in the Instagram tour for her newest book The Girl in Red, the tale of Red Riding Hood (in this case more of a red jacket than an actual hood) and the decimated world riddled with quarantine camps, death, destruction and disease.

Have you read any of these? If so what are your thoughts? What have you read lately and what do you think you might read next?

book reviews, spoiler free

A Good Girls Guide To Murder…

cover145858-medium.pngA Good Girls Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson

Rating; XXXXX

Published: May 2nd 2019 by Electric Monkey

“This project is no longer the hopeful conjecture is started life as…An innocent life was taken and everyone in this town turned it ugly in their mouths…”

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. Almost everyone. Having grown up in the small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi chooses the case as the topic for her final project. But when Pip starts uncovering secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, what starts out as a project begins to become Pip’s dangerous reality . . .

I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you to Electronic Monkey who gave me the opportunity to win an advanced copy of this book at YALC (which I won on the last day), even if you monsters did tear out the last few chapters from the ARCs (I actually thought this was a fun and clever way to get more people talking about this debut book as well as being able to tell just how many people read the arcs). Thank you to Charlotte and Hannah for telling me all about this book and introducing me to Holly! Thank you to Holly Jackson for many things! For taking the time to talk to me and my friends at YALC, for meticulously signing my book etc and for writing said absolute rollercoaster ride of a book.

A Good Girls Guide to Murder is set up fantastically as part narrative, part school report where main character Pippa talks to us directly about her findings and theories giving the reader a real sense of closeness and inclusion into what’s happening and where Pips train of thought is going. Not only is the format well chosen but the writing style chosen to accompany it feels spot on, it drips with mystery and unanswered questions. Holly is very good at feeding us just the right amount of information so that it feels like we a good level of understanding without being bogged down with too many uninteresting info dumps. Of course, then she artfully pulls the floor out from under you leaving you to wonder which way is up and question everything you think you know while you piece together every single scrap of evidence you can get your hands on.

As Pip investigates the narrative is pleasingly organic, nothing feels especially twee or too much of a coincidence, I love that Pippa is resourceful, determined, loves to study and sticks up for what she believes in. I also realised while waiting for the last few chapters to arrive (as mentioned previously, they had been ripped out and a ransom note of sorts left with a contact email for the publisher to receive access to the last few chapters), that none of the things Pip does are particularly out of the realms of possibility for an ordinary teenager which I really liked.

One of my favourite things about this twisty book is that everyone feels untrustworthy at one point or another as things change and different pieces of information and evidence come to light, I think throughout this book I’ve suspected almost everyone at least once. A Good Girls Guide to Murder as a brilliantly realised, deliciously tense tale of whodunnit wrapped in danger and betrayal.

 

 

#SixforSunday

S4S – Characters I’d love to go on a date with

Good morning (or relevant greeting depending when you’re reading), It’s Six for Sunday time and this week we’re talking “Characters I’d love to go on a date with” and was another one I found difficult because although I tend to fall in love with fictional characters on a semi-regular basis they aren’t characters I imagine going on dates with, especially because I read a lot of YA so the characters themselves are a fair bit younger than myself so in the case they are mentioned below it’s usually because I imagine them to be closer to me in age or myself younger if that makes sense? Either way, I found thinking about this quite fun and realising I probably have a type – well two types.

Jude from The Folk of Air and fire Trilogy by Holly Black
I love the raw strength and cunning Jude portrays in The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. Although I have a strange thing for Cardan he is absolutely NOT dating material. Jude is probably not looking for someone to get emotionally involved with but I’d like to think we could have a fun time and she could have a break from all the hell raining down around her. We could have a picnic and she could show me how to fight after?

Mitch from Vicious and Vengeful by V.E Schwab
Mitch is an absolute sweetheart who I couldn’t help but fall in love with reading Vicious and Vengeful. I would take him to some fun but slightly gimmicky burger restaurant where we could eat and chat and order us the hugest chocolate milkshakes.

Katherine from The Last Beginning books by Lauren James,
I think I’ve spoken of my love for Katherine before but in case you hadn’t heard I LOVE HER. She’s smart, sassy, funny and confident. I feel like for our date she would probably pick some totally random physical activity that she saw an ad for somewhere online and chose at the spur of the moment like rock climbing, paintball or a giant zip wire! Although I’m pretty sure at some point during our date we would meet the cute but nerdy safety instructor called Matt and that’s when I would realise we just weren’t meant to be.

Scott Lang from Captain Marvel: Liberation Run by Tess Stone.
I’m currently reading this book so things could change later on but as seems to be one of my types I love that he’s smart, funny and quick-witted, not to mention with that criminal past (mostly), he’s a great example of a “bad boy” gone good and I’m so here for that. Chuck in the fact that I imagine him to look like Scott Lang from the Marvel films (Paul Rudd), the amount of great and often quite feminist novels he’s read and enjoyed as well as the beautiful relationship he has with his daughter Cassie and I would be powerless to resist. Not sure what our date would be like but I imagine doing the stereotypical going to a restaurant lark but actually really enjoying it and having a good time.

River Song from The Legends of River Song by Jenny T Colgan, Jacqueline Rayner and Steve Lyons.
This is a great collection of short stories about River who is my favourite character in the Doctor who Universe in which we really get to see her shine on her own a little more. At the risk of repeating myself, I love that she’s smart, funny, sassy and flirty with a big heart she keeps hidden away and it doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty gorgeous (that hair <3). I would probably have heard stories from her about this “Doctor” person and put two and two together from the way she talks about him but that wouldn’t stop us from going on a seemingly normal date and then it ends in complete and utter chaos after we have to solve some (probably intergalactic or alien) mystery, or stealing something. I’m sure we’d probably share one incredible kiss and then I would never see her again but it would have been totally worth it.

Jace from The Shadowhunter books by Cassie Clare.
Jace was one of my first proper “book boyfriends” / literary crushes (as long as you don’t count some confused feelings for Rhys in The Two Princess of Barremare or the morbid fascination I had with Damon Salvatore). Jace is a nice mix of my two types I think in that he’s sarcastic and sassy but a great fighter and just a little bit broken and angsty (…okay a lot) and I fell for him hard when I first read City of Bones, lines like “If you wanted me to take my clothes off you should have just asked” and “Alas, my one true love remains myself” and LOADS more just endeared him to me all the more. Our date would be awkward as hell though, I have no idea how to actually go on dates anymore and when I was younger wasn’t really the dating type, while he probably hasn’t really been on many dates either. I can just hope that some Shadowhunter stuff goes down and it turns out I’m actually a really good fighter, we fall madly in love, I become a Shadow Hunter etc etc etc.

I feel like I may have probably put more thought into that then needed so you’re welcome I guess?? It was fun to realise that I like my partners/love interests to be smart, funny, sassy, sarcastic and probably able to fight pretty well? Not to mention the slightly angsty, morally grey in places traits but thinking back on a lot of my fictional crushes this actually seems to have hit the nail on the head so that was interesting to realise! I hope you enjoyed reading and I can’t wait to hear all about which fictional character YOU would like to date too!

#SixforSunday

S4S – Books that have sat on your TBR forever

This should be a fairly easy prompt for me this week (I always say that and end up regretting it when I have more trouble than I thought I would!) But I have a huge TBR and because I’m a mood reader I tend to find it hard to keep any kind of actual schedule when it comes to reading so a lot of books just get pushed aside to wait until I’m done reading what I’m more in the mood for at the time and sometimes they just get a little forgotten. Being a little tight on money this past month and for the forseeable future at the moment means I’m on a book buying ban and am finally working through my TBR and enjoying finally getting to some books I’ve really been excited about! Silver lining and all that.

1. Outside in by Maria V. Snyder
When checking my TBR on goodreads this was actually the first book I added. The first book Inside out was really enjoyable and was one of the best plot twists/shocks I’d read at the time and I couldn’t wait for the next one. A lot of other stuff happened between the release of the first book and then its sequel and I hadn’t realised it was out for a long time and then I got a hold of it eventually and promised I’d get to it but haven’t got there yet and is currently the only book by Maria I’ve not yet read!

2. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
If you read last weeks  S4S you will know I decide to take my time in reading this and that means it’s been put on the back burner quite a lot. I also admit that books in my TBR that I’ve already seen the films more also tend to get dropped back quite a bit as it tends to make me less excited to read them because I feel like I already know roughly what happens. (I know this isn’t always the case and the book has much more in it but that is how my brain works apparently).

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder is often one of the books I look at and consider reading quite often but never get around to because there are more than a few books in the series and if they’re already out I want to read them one after the other where possible so it often gets overlooked because of that which is a shame because it seems totally up my street.

4. The Sin Eaters Daughter by Melinda Sailsbury
So Melinda Sailsbury is one of a couple of authors I love without having read anything by. This sounds stupid I know but there are a few authors I’ve met who or heard speak on panels etc and follow on Twitter and I just love their aesthetic and hearing about their books etc. I usually then buy said books and again if I’m not quite in the right mood I don’t get around to them right away. I’ve had this problem with V.W Schwab as well and I tried reading a Darker Shade of Magic, Vicious and then The Sin Eaters Daughter during my biggest book hangover and I’ve not managed to get back around to them yet but soon!! They’re all very very high on my current TBR so fingers crossed!!

5. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
I’m always on about how I still haven’t gotten around to this one and how it seems like the perfect book for me and I’ve nearly picked it up a couple of times this month already so I feel like the time to finally get around to reading this is almost upon us! With this book I think one of the problems is that I and others have hyped it up quite a bit and although I imagine it’s probably well worth the hype I think a part of me is worried that after all this time and being excited to read it what if I don’t like it?

6.Undead and Unsure by Mary Janice Davidson
So this is like…book 12 in the series and it was a series of books I absolutely adored but books 8 and 9 were starting to take the story in kind of weird directions I thought at the time and I really didn’t enjoy book 10 and stopped reading them. There have been 6 more books since then and I’ve always kept book 12 (Undead and Unsure) on my TBR because I feel like I’ll get forgive it and get back to it one day (and surely it can’t end as bad as the Sookie Stackhouse books right? ….right?) As one of the series of books that really got me back into reading after some time away I feel like I owe it to the series to give it another try. Just not quite yet…

Events

YALC – Day One Recap

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Finally getting around to doing my YALC recap and I realised that I didn’t want to miss anything out and I actually ended up doing quite a bit in the end so I decided to spilt them up into days to make it a bit of an easier read with any luck! So today lets talk about day one, the Friday.

I was super excited and nervous as I hadn’t come alone to YALC before and wasn’t sure what to expect with queuing etc but it really helped to have been chatting with the lovely people in the SundayYA twitter chat group a few weeks before hand so I felt like I’d at least know some people when I got there. I met up with Kirsty, we grabbed some drinks and waited in line. It was pretty hot but the great company helped time go faster and we were let into the cooler building pretty quick. Getting into YALC itself was a nice easy experience and felt much preferable to the LFCC entrance I’d used before.

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The YALC floor, although warm was still much better than I had imagined it temperature wise and I love all the space up there, there was even a quiet zone with bean bags etc which was a lovely touch. The setup was mostly the same as last year and is nice and chilled out which is lovely. I paid a visit to the Coppafeel stand and got sparkled up before heading to the Waterstones area to grab early copies of Giant Days and Only Love Can Break Your Heart so I could get them signed. The queue here was pretty huge already and Non’s signing was pretty early so I’m glad i went when I did! There was also a backdrop from the YA Prom I’d missed the week before where if you took your pic in front of it and posted it to social media you got an Only Love Can Break Your Heart Punky Pins badge from the Walker stand so of course that was the next thing I did!

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There were a couple of competitions and giveaways going on at the different publisher stands which were a lot of fun! It was so nice not to have to worry about running around trying to get ARC’s or anything, it made it so much less stressful meant I didn’t have to stay glued to my Twitter feed all day. We knew about times and locations for a lot of the compettions and draws that were happening so it was easy to fit into a schedule and be prepared. I was only interested in a few of these and am pleased to say that I actually managed to get hold of the ones I had been after as well as one I found out about that day and loved the sound of. Friday I won a copy of The Girl King from Gollancz which had been mentioned at the Orion blogger event I attended earlier in the month where we had a video call from the author about the book so I was super pleased to get that one. I also won a finished copy of LifeL1k3 by aJay Kristoff which I’ve been desperate to read and that had only just come out in a physical copy the day before which was a lovely surprise as I certainly hadn’t expected to win!

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I met up with some more of the Sunday YA people throughout the day and managed to track down my Summer Secret Santa partner to give her a box of goodies, we ended up in a lot of the same signing queues so we had lots of great chats! I got to meet Katherine Webber, Non Pratt and Joanne Harris (I WAS SO EXCITED!).

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After chilling out looking at the stands for a while and lots of sitting breaks to rest my cruddy knee and keep cool I made my way over the 200 years of Frank panel celebrating the 200th year since release of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The panel featured Ed McDonald, Joanne Harris, Matt Killeen, Melinda Salisbury & Sarah Maria Griffin. Everyone received a free new edition copy of Frankenstein (with green sprayed edges) which I particularly appreciated having not read it myself yet. The panel itself was fun and as someone who loves the “monsters” rather than the heroes in a lot of the books I read it was nice to hear the majority there tended to agree with me and it was interesting to hear about how the authors developed their own monsters.

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The only thing left to do after the panel was the Fight like a Pirate sword fighting class with Ed McDonald which I’d signed up for IMMEDIATLEY and had originally brought my Friday ticket mainly so I could attend this workshop. I WAS NOT DISSAPOINTED! I really hope this is a workshop that makes another appearance at YALC or another bookish event, it was so much fun! Thank you so much to my partner Lynne, who let me bop her on the head repeatedly. Also a huge thank you to Ed and the others from London Longsword! I had a great time!

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The journey home was surprisingly easy despite it chucking it down with rain and having to protect some MinaLima art posters (one signed!) under my top on my way to the tube station but otherwise I got off and onto my connecting train with almost no waiting. I got home, unpacked my books and other goodies and was actually shocked with the pile of books I seemed to have amassed!

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My Summer Secret Santa box had also arrived which I opened that evening to put that’s a whole other post (which is actually already done and ready to go for a change so you’ll see that next week!). All in all a great first day, I went to sleep excited and ready for more! Tune in tomorrow for Day Two! The longest day ever >.<